Game Info:

Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX
Developed by: SEGA
Published by: SEGA
Release Date: September 8, 2015
Available on: 3DS
Genre: Rhythm
Number of Players: Up to two players for the mini-games
ESRB Rating: E 10+ For mild lyrics and violence
Price: $39.99
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Thank you SEGA for sending us this game to review!

Hatsune Miku and her friends are vocaloids whose singing is generated via vocaloid software. Even though Hatsune Miku is a fictional sixteen year old with turquoise colored hair, she has quite the fan base. She has been featured in over 100,000 songs world-wide.   In Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX, players can interact with forty-eight of those songs in multiple ways.  Each of those songs have three different play styles: tap, button, and theater modes.  While the Rhythm game is the most prominent, there's so much more to this title!

When you first launch Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX, you'll be prompted to choose your partner/avatar.  There are six cute 3D anime style characters to select from.  While most of them are female, there are a couple of males available as well.   The next order of business is to select the decor style of your apartment.  There are cute, futuristic, nature, and Japanese styles offered.  More expensive living quarters can be purchased with in-game money.     

Money can also be used to buy clothes for dress-up, snacks to eat, room decorations, or given to your character as an allowance to spend.  When you're not interacting with the character they will spend their allowance on food and activities and you can read all about their financial expenditures and adventures in their allowance log.  When I didn't give my character enough of an allowance, she earned a reward for returning somebody's purse for them.

Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX

Strong Points: Catchy music; fun mini-games; lots to do!
Weak Points: I have no idea what the songs are singing about
Moral Warnings: Sexual lyrics in Japanese only

Besides being a good Samaritan, money can be earned by playing mini-games and the rhythm game.   Puyo Puyo 39 is a Dr. Mario style mini-game where you have to line up falling pieces of multiple colors to make a match of four of the same color.  Once a match is made either vertically or horizontally, the pieces will disappear and possibly send blank colored blocks to your opponent's side.  You can play this game against the CPU or with another human who owns this 3DS title.  

When you call your character, they will come towards you to eat, earn their allowance, or challenge you to a game of Mikuversi.  This game is very similar to Othello/Reversi with black and white pieces that will convert  rows or columns of opposite colored adjacent pieces.  Whomever has the most pieces of their color in the end, wins.  This game is much more slower paced than Puyo Puyo 39 and I wish there was an option to speed up the AI's turn.  

The meat and potatoes of Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX is the rhythm game. All of the songs are Japanese voiced with various beats per minute. Most of them fall under the J-Pop category, but some are slower paced or more Rock'n Roll themed than others.   Even though I had no idea what they were singing about, I found the tunes catchy and enjoyable.  The songs are subtitled with the Japenese lyrics so I had to rely on the ESRB and translations to see what they were singing about.  According to the ESRB's website, some of the song lyrics talk about tearing off clothes and getting naked.  They also mention a guillotine in one of the videos, though nothing is shown after the blade starts to descend.  Unfortunately, I was too busy paying attention to the bottom screen to notice. Last but not least, one of the songs sings about fortune telling.

If you have played games like Elite Beat Agents on the DS or Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy you'll be familiar with the Tap mode gameplay.  There are three difficulties and each harder difficulty adds another color to appear and tap when the pointer lines up with it.  Besides tapping, there are holding, sliding, and spinning moves as well.   Depending on your timing, the  move will be tallied as Cool, Fine, Safe, Sad, Worst, or Miss.  Each song has a set number of SP or special points to earn and perfect it.  After each song a letter grade of  C, B, A, S and S+ is awarded and money is earned accordingly.  In order to unlock the hardest difficulty, the medium one has to be completed.

Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 88%
Gameplay - 18/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 87%
Violence - 8/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 7/10
Occult/Supernatural - 8.5/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

The Button mode is more challenging than the tap mode since there are up to four buttons (A,B, X,Y) and arrows to contend with.  Easy mode has a longer safe zone (no life bar penalty if a note is missed) and only uses A and B with no arrows while the Normal has A,B, Y, and arrow presses. Hard mode has all four buttons and arrows actively in use.  Like the Tap mode, the hardest difficulty becomes available after the medium difficulty is completed.

Once a song is completed in any style or difficulty, the Theater mode becomes available.   In this mode you can interact with the song by inserting pictures and comments as it plays.  There is a Jam Along mode that inserts various drum and scratches as you press all of the buttons on the 3DS.  

If you like to make your own music, there is a synthesizer mode where you can tap on the 3DS screen to play a virtual piano, string, reed, or brass instrument.  The 8 bit, vocal, and synthesizer modes are fun to tinker around with as well.    Any completed tunes can be sent via street pass.  Since we were sent a digital version of this game before its release date, we were not able to test the Street Pass or AR card features.  The retail box version will come with nineteen double sided AR cards.  

The game's price of $39.99 is very reasonable given the amount of content in it.  Girls who like Barbies will enjoy the dress up mode while anyone at any age can have fun doing the rhythm or mini-games.  Even though my Japanese fluency is very limited, I still had fun jamming to the songs and making some of my own tunes while I was at it.  Unfortunately, because of the insights from the translated lyrics, we had to lower the moral score.

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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